Resort Activities

Pétanque

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Please contact reception for your Pétanque equipment.

Pétanque is a form of boules, the object of the game is to throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (jack). The game is normally played on hard dirt or gravel, but can also be played on grass or other surfaces.

The current form of the game originated in 1907 in La Ciotat, in Provence, in southern France. The English and French name pétanque comes from la petanca in the Provençal dialect of the Occitan language, deriving from the expression pès tancats, meaning "feet together" or more exactly "feet anchored".

The casual form of the game of Pétanque is played by about 17 million people in France, mostly during their summer vacations. There are about 375,000 players licensed with the Fédération Française de Pétanque et Jeu Provençal and some 3000 in England.

Playing the game

In this game red's boule is closest to the jack, followed by blue. Red scores one point, blue scores nothing. Here red has two boules closer, and scores two points, Pétanque is played by two, four or six people.[5] In the singles and doubles games each player has three boules; in triples they have only two. A coin is tossed to decide which side goes first. The starting team draws a circle on the ground which is 35-50 centimetres in diameter: all players must throw their boules from within this circle, with both feet remaining on the ground. The first player throws the jack 6-10 metres away; it must be at least one metre from the boundary.

Order of play

The player who threw the jack then throws their first boule. A player from the opposing team then makes a throw. Play continues with the team that is not closest to the jack having to continue throwing until they either land a boule closer to the jack than their opponents or run out of boules.

If the closest boules from each team are an equal distance from the jack, then the team that played last plays again. If the boules are still equidistant then the teams play alternately until the position changes. If the boules are still equidistant at the end of the game then no points are scored by either team.

The game continues with a player from the team that won the previous end drawing a new circle around where the jack finished and throwing the jack for a new end.

Scoring

Points are scored when both teams have no more boules, or when the jack is knocked out of play. The winning team receives one point for each boule that it has closer to the jack than the best-placed boule of the opposition.

If the jack is knocked out of play, the end is void unless only one team has boules left to play. In this case the team with boules receives one point for each that they have to play.

The first team to reach 13 points wins.

Further rules

A boule hitting a boundary is dead and is removed from that end.

On a piste marked with strings a boule is dead if it completely crosses the string.

The circle can be moved back in the line of the previous end if there is not room to play a 10 metre end.

The boule can be thrown at any height or even rolled depending on the terrain.

Boules are thrown underarm, usually with the palm of the hand downwards which allows backspin to be put on the boule giving greater control.

Each team should have suitable measuring equipment. In most cases a tape measure is adequate but callipers or other measuring devices may be needed.